Thirty Bilingual Residential Districts with well-rounded living facilities for International citizens

The locals who live in Shangcheng District of Hangzhou are familiar with blue-eyed and blonde-haired foreigners. Most of the sign boards in the area are shown bilingually and even the regional newspaper publishes both Chinese and English versions.  Since 2016, the Hangzhou government advocates the idea of “internationalization of residential districts”, and has already created 21 samples of “the ideal district”.  This year, nine more will be built.

According to research done by Hangzhou’s Civil Affairs Bureau, there are 349 residents from abroad living in 94% of Hangzhou’s residential districts. These residents from outside the country dwell in certain blocks in which more than ten nationalities can be found. Creating international residential districts with international standards, developing districts in line with changes of the city, and satisfying the needs of all residents within the districts has, of late, become the first priority of the government.

After the 2016 G20 Summit, Hangzhou has speeded up its development as an international city. Meanwhile, more and more foreigners are moving to Hangzhou. 
Gesterkamp is from the Netherlands, he is impressed by Hangzhou and its beautiful scenery, the West Lake and the profound culture of Hangzhou has particularly engage him. When he first arrived here, he seldom interacted with the local community because he knew nothing about the lifestyle of Hangzhou. He didn’t know how to solve any problems and who to get help from. He is not the only one who has experienced this. For the sake of providing residents from abroad with a civil service, some districts in Hangzhou has set up bureaus,  foreigners can apply for the entry and departure clearance and other relevant applications.

The ideal residential districts do not only concern the needs of residents from foreign countries, but also care for the local residents. Recently, people who live in Chunjiang residential district found that the barrier-free facilities in the area have become more common: a pedal lift for the disabled by the stairs of the communal service and administration building, a path for the disabled at the entrance of the convenience store, etc. The staff said that they had sent 200 questionnaires for collecting comments and suggestions from the residents, and would follow the feedbacks when they optimize the facilities. All residents should share a community with safety, high-standard hygiene and well-rounded facilities.

Nick is from Canada and he is living in Xihu District. Every week he spends a few days teaching children English. Through this kind of communication, both Chinese and foreigners gain better understanding of each other and, in doing so, build positive relationships. “Living in the village, is like living at home,” said the Japanese girl Koshio, who has lived in Liangxu for six years. It is not only the beautiful environment that attracts her, but also the close and warm neighborhood keeps her from wanting to leave. People who live in the village can even give the neighbors their keys.